Donate a public artwork to the city

Last updated February 20, 2024

Want to donate an artwork to the city and see your work exhibited on public property? Learn about the selection and acquisition process overseen by the Bureau d’art public.

Presentation

The municipal collection is enriched and further developed through the donation of artworks. The standard procedure for reviewing proposed donations is designed to add works that are representative of specific periods of art history, but under-represented in the municipal collection, while ensuring a rigorous and vigilant evaluation of proposed donations.

The acquisition-by-donation process encompasses several criteria, notably the conditions submitted by the donor, the evaluation of the work, the link between the work and the artist’s body of work, and how the work meshes with the municipal collection.

Action framework

The acquisition of new artworks for the public space is carried out in accordance with the public art action framework adopted in 2010. Founded on three guiding principles, the framework includes 11 commitments aimed at maintaining and preserving collections, acquiring and developing new artworks, and disseminating and promoting public art.

Eligibility

This procedure applies to artworks that are likely to be added to Montréal’s public art collection and to be installed on public or private property within the city (e.g., in a park or a municipal building).

Any individual or corporation, Canadian or foreign, can submit a proposal to donate a public artwork. The inventory of public artworks and works integrated into architecture is available on the Bureau d’art public Web site.

Evaluation criteria

The following elements are taken into account when evaluating proposed donations:

  • The work’s place in the artist’s overall body of work.
  • The place of the artist and the work in an artistic current or an art history period, from the perspective of potentially enriching the collection.
  • Whether or not the city owns a work by the artist.
  • The work’s consistency and relevance within the city’s collection of public artworks.
  • Whether the work is by a professional artist in the visual arts, in accordance with the Act respecting the professional status of artists in the visual arts, arts and crafts and literature, and their contracts with promoters (L.R.Q., c. S-32.01).
  • The work’s market value.
  • The cost of installing and maintaining the work, and safety considerations.
  • The work’s preservation state.
  • The conditions that the donor imposes on the city (e.g., maintenance).
  • Proof of physical ownership of the work.

Submissions

The donation proposal must be submitted to the Bureau d’art public.

The form, list of required documents, and complete procedure are available below.

If deemed necessary, the city can request an external evaluation in order to check the provenance of the submitted work with competent authorities and receive a cost estimate for restoring or preserving the work and installing it.

Evaluation committee

The management appoints a three-member committee of experts from the fields of art history, museum institutions, teaching institutions or trade publications. A representative of the arts sector in a borough may be invited to sit on the committee as an expert. The Bureau d’art public project manager acts as secretary, but does hold the right to vote.

Acceptance of a donation

If the expert committee issues a favourable report concerning the acceptance of the donation, the management can identify a site, accessible to the public, where the work can be installed, in collaboration with other municipal authorities, central departments or boroughs.

The management then submits the proposal to accept the donation to the competent municipal authority. The proposal includes the request to issue a tax receipt, if applicable, and a cost estimate for the installation of the work in the chosen location.

Any new acquisition is documented, and a sign identifying the work is installed on the site. The city ensures the preservation of this work, in accordance with its conservation practices.

Quick search